The Phone

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I do not like to talk on the phone.

It is hard for me to not see someone’s face (although I don’t always look at a person’s face when I am talking with them) when I am talking to them.

I get easily distracted and forget to listen.

I know that I am in trouble when there is a long pause.

Oh, no!

What did they just say?

Was it a question I was supposed to answer?

Other times, I just don’t know what to say in return.

Do I ask a question?

It’s so hard to stay on topic.

Sometimes, to be honest, it’s boring.

Being able to video chat is better.

I sometimes play with the buttons and disconnect the speaker, because I still don’t like it when I just have to talk and listen to someone else talk.

I’m glad that I don’t have to talk on the phone very often.

Whenever I do, it’s very short.

Band, Again

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We had weeks of band skills tests after winter break.

When we were not doing our skills tests, we could read or even play video games.

We were not supposed to talk.

People talked.

I didn’t.

I played music from memory.

I played my clarinet to match what I heard the teacher play.

I played our concert songs for him again.

When it was all over, I was the first chair for clarinet in sixth grade band.

I don’t think that means anything special, except I sit up front.

My mom was really happy about it though.

I’m glad that I got time to play video games during band.

But I’m also glad that we are going back to learning songs and practicing our instruments.

Not everyone followed the rules during skills testing and that really frustrated me.

I don’t know why people like to talk so much, anyway.

Pi

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March 14 is Einstein’s birthday.

It is also Pi Day.

I like celebrating this day because it’s a way to commemorate the discovery of Pi.

Pi is important in math because it’s how you find measurements on circles, cylinders, and spheres.

I like Pi Day because it’s close to my birthday.

I like math and it keeps the celebrating going for a little bit longer.

Mom got me a Pi Day shirt for this year because it is a special date that happens once in a century: 3/14/15.

The first five digits of Pi are 3.1415.

Get it?

I think this is funny.

The shirt is red, which used to be my favorite color.

Kids in school ask me if I’m going to wear my shirt on Pi Day.

I tell them, yes.

It’s the one day of the year, where I can share my love of math with others.

Books I Feel Like Abandoning, Sort Of

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I am reading a book right now.

It started out really good.

I usually like nonfiction and adventure books.

This one is a “relationship” book.

I like learning about other people.

My friends book-talked it in class, so I am reading it.

It’s what I call a “pity party” book, though.

What I mean by this is that the main character starts to go through a bad time in the book and everything goes wrong for them.

I feel uncomfortable focusing so much on the problems that other people have.

I also don’t like it when everything goes wrong for the main character in the book.

I feel helpless and sometimes I dream like it’s happening to me – the events in the book.

This makes me feel depressed.

I don’t always abandon these types of books though.

For instance, I kept reading Wonder and Fish in a Tree and they are among my favorite books.

I guess it’s hard for me to focus on emotions and bullying for so long.

I will be very glad when the character in this book finds a way to “solve his problem.”

Or his friends make him forget about his troubles.

This might not be the way it always happens in real life, but it makes it feel like a better ending.

My Birthday (actually 1/2 birthday)

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Today is my birthday.

I woke up.

It was like every other day.

Except I can tell everyone that it is my birthday today.

I went to school.

I learned stuff.

I had fun.

Just like on every other day.

When I got home, I got to open presents.

We had the dinner I chose: pizza.

I think I get to play more video games on my birthday.

I think my mom and dad don’t want to tell me no, on my birthday.

For this reason, birthdays are nice.

I like getting presents and not being told to stop doing what I want to do.

I don’t like singing or major attention.

Cake is good.

I like ice cream better.

Only the soft kind though.

With sprinkles.

I feel very loved on my birthday.

Chess Club

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I didn’t think that I was a clubs person.

Then my mom reminded me that I did Math Olympiad last year and MATHCOUNTS this year.

They are clubs.

So maybe I am a clubs person after all.

My social skills teacher runs a chess club.

I tried it out.

There are only four or five students who stay for chess club.

They are all nice.

Mostly boys attend chess club.

During chess club, we play chess.

I don’t always win.

I usually win, unless I am playing against Mr. Roy.

I have learned that I really need to focus on my first couple of moves, or else I will be in trouble for the rest of the game.

I brought in my Island Chess game last week.

Everyone thought it was a combination of Halo and Dungeons and Dragons.

At least that’s what I think they said.

I don’t know those games.

I’m not allowed to play games that are not rated “E” for Everyone.

Only Mr. Roy got to play it, because it is a really long game.

He liked it.

Chess club is a great way to spend my time after school.

P. E.

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Today in physical education, we were playing block ball.

I got hit in the glasses with the ball because someone cherry bombed it.

That means they slammed it very hard.

That’s against the rules we were playing with.

It didn’t really hurt, but I just got my new glasses and the nose pieces got bent.

The person who did the cherry bomb got out because they slammed it.

I was glad that they followed the rules.

I went to the nurse to get my glasses fixed.

She told me that she didn’t want to bend them too much, but got them so that I could wear them again.

I went back to PE.

We were playing volleyball.

I tried my hardest, but I think I heard one of the players on my team say, “The reason we are losing is because of Jacob.”

I was upset to hear this because I was trying my hardest and taking the games seriously.

I don’t understand why he felt that way or said something like this.

He wasn’t thinking about how this would make me feel.

Eventually, I got over what he said.

Sort of.

Thankfully, we are not playing volleyball in PE anymore.

MATHCOUNTS

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I went away on my first during-the-day school trip for MATHCOUNTS.

This is a club that I attend each week.

We do math problems.

I really like doing the problems for this club.

A few times, I don’t get the answers right.

I am learning not to be too upset about it.

I get disappointed because others are relying on me to know the answers.

All of the other students in the club are in seventh and eighth grade.

Because I take seventh grade math, I can be in the club, although I am only a sixth grader.

The competition for my county was fun.

We went to a local college.

The food there was great.

I came in 13th place.

It was the highest for my school.

We need to practice the team competition a little better.

We did not work as a team as well as I think we should have.

Then, eight of us went to the regional competition, which was at a bigger college.

It was called a university.

We met some math professors and I now think I want to be a mathematician.

They had a cool conveyor belt that I put my dishes on after I ate lunch.

I came in 14th place.

I was the only one from my school to place because they only gave medals to the top 20 students.

We had a pizza party to celebrate afterward.

I think I will do this club next year.

I hope we learn to work better as a team.

I’m going to practice by doing Khan Academy until MATHCOUNTS club starts again next year.

I really enjoy doing math.

After Christmas Break

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We flew home the next morning.

Our plans were to stay longer in Utah.

When we got home, there was no tree.

We didn’t bring along the presents we got from grandmom and granddad.

Maybe that’s my punishment for breaking the bed.

Mom said that I wasn’t being punished.

I could tell she was really trying to explain things to me.

She said that granddad was saying that there was something wrong with me.

I said there was, sort of – I had Aspergers.

Mom said, “That’s not wrong, sweetheart.

It’s who you are.

It makes you perfectly who you are.

It is not a mistake.

It is not something we can discipline out of you.

Nor would we want to.

Granddad just doesn’t understand.

He still loves you.

He just has trouble understanding you, which we are not okay with.

Please don’t feel that you have done anything wrong.”

I will have to think about this.

It still feels lonely without grandmom and granddad at Christmas.

And no tree, because we left the tree in Utah.

Christmas Break

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I was so excited that we went to see grandmom and granddad over Christmas.

They live in Utah now.

I don’t know why.

They used to live close by.

Then they moved.

We don’t know anyone else out there.

But we visited Utah once before, so I am looking forward to going back.

My cousins will be there too.

Their mom and dad sent them to visit from Alaska.

It’s good that the timing is the same.

This will be the fourth time that I am seeing them since they moved to Alaska.

The first time they came to Pennsylvania to visit while my parents were going to get my sister from Ethiopia.

Another time, I went to their house in Alaska to visit.

I was seven.

The last time we saw them was in Washington D.C. when I was 9 and a half.

But that was only for a few hours.

I don’t remember it really well.

Christmas was great.

Our visit was great.

Everyone got along really well (sort of).

We got lots of presents.

But one night that my dad and mom went out for dinner and a movie, granddad got really mad at me.

I was jumping on the bed so I could understand why he was mad.

But when my parents got home, he started to say that if my mom was a better mom and if they disciplined me more, I wouldn’t act that way.

He said that I needed to be spanked more.

I don’t think I agree with that at all.

I think my parents are good.

They help me with my Aspergers and give me strategies for how to do well in school.

I guess I should have used one of those strategies that night.

But then my dad was yelling back at my granddad saying that I was perfect the way I was and that he had no right to say that there was something wrong with me.

I’m not sure what that meant because I felt fine.

The next thing I knew, though, is that we were packing and leaving and I just knew that it was all my fault.

My granddad said, “Good riddance.”

I don’t know what that means either; I think he was glad that I was leaving because of how I acted.

I started to cry and say that I was really sorry.

My parents hugged me, but we still left.

We stayed in a hotel.

I think this was the worst night of my life.

I think I made a terrible choice and I don’t know how to fix it.